A wave of green is sweeping over parts of Ontario this week to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week and Mental Health Week (May 1-8). More than 70 sites in communities across the province are shining green – the colour for mental health – to remind everyone about the importance of positive mental health.
Significant landmarks like the Peace Bridge, Niagara Falls and CN Tower are among sites to go green. And the movement is gaining traction among schools, post-secondary sites and business both large and small.
Whether it’s Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton or Sunrise Orchards in Arkona and Blackwood Barbershop in Dryden, people and organizations want to do their part to raise awareness this week.
With one in five children, youth and adults affected by mental health issues, Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division use Mental Health Week to generate discussion about mental health with politicians, children and youth and the public generally to call attention to the challenges of accessing care in this province.
Other notable locations to go green during Mental Health Week include:
- City halls in Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington, Chatham-Kent and Thunder Bay
- Buildings at more than 10 universities or colleges, including the U of T, Ryerson, McMaster, Western and Sault, Centennial, Durham and Georgian colleges.
- The 3D Toronto sign at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square
For a full list of lit buildings, visit greenformentalhealth.ca.
“We’ve come a long way toward eliminating the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental health and illness but more can be done,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA Ontario. “Societal and system barriers remain in place that often keep individuals and their families from getting help at the right time in their community.”
“We hope that this week will spark conversations about mental illness with the goal to reduce stigma against one of the most common childhood illnesses,” said Kimberly Moran, President and CEO of CMHO. “There are currently 12,000 Ontario children and youth and their families on long wait lists seeking long-term or intensive mental health therapy at community-based children and youth mental health centres. Children deserve better. This week is our opportunity to raise our collective voices to help the thousands of families that are struggling to access care for their kids.”
Anyone can participate in the shine green movement (see images from last year):
- Visit greenformentalhealth.ca and tell us what building you’re going to light up. We’ll add it to the list, help spread the word and promote it on social media using #GETLOUD and #kidscantwait.
- Wear green during Mental Health Week and share online with the hashtags #GETLOUD #kidscantwait.
- Take pictures of or selfies with illuminated buildings and post to social media using #GETLOUD and #kidscantwait.
- Visit cmho.org to learn how you can join us in working with the province to improve access to appropriate mental health treatment to within 30 days or less.
About Children’s Mental Health, Ontario
Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) works to identify and develop solutions to important policy issues affecting the child and youth mental health sector. We represent close to 100 accredited children’s mental health agencies that provide treatment and support to infants, children, youth and families. This includes targeted prevention, early intervention, short- and long-term counselling and therapy, and intensive services for those with complex and/or persistent mental health issues.
About Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) works toward a single mission: to make mental health possible for all. The vision of CMHA Ontario is a society that believes mental health is the key to well-being. CMHA Ontario works closely with 30 local branches in communities across the province to ensure the quality delivery of services to 100,000 individuals in the areas of mental health, addictions, dual diagnosis and concurrent disorders.
For more information, contact:
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
T: 416-977-5580 ext. 4141
Children’s Mental Health Ontario,